Off the Wall

I reckon we can learn from the Hawaiians. I’ve said it before…they have good priorities.
If the surf is cranking – they take the day off and surf. All day. Last week I noticed most of the school kids even had permission to skip classes to score waves all day long in the sun.
They are also very big on family. Their ‘Keiki’ (kids) is everything to them. Work doesn’t rank very highly. Island time dawg.
This is the last photo update from the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. The 1st half of our stint was windy but the 2nd half has been so good. Super blue, super clear and manageable waves.
Thumbs up.
If you’re around Bondi this weekend head to the Icebergs Dining and Bar (upstairs) and you could win a Aquabumps artwork. Big one. Go here for more info (this is the last weekend)
:: uge

See full post & more photographs

Gums

Gums is a little patch of reef that sits right next to Pipeline. It’s kinda like the Kiddies Corner of Pipe. I see toddlers paddling into waves there all the time – Jon Jon probably surfed it when he was 2 (right out front of his house). When it’s big Gums turns into a drowning machine, a rip monster that holds you in a bad spot for several sets. If you miscalculate your swim out to Pipe on a big day you end up at Gums…thinking, what on earth did I do to deserve this thrashing. Very humbling with hundreds of people on the beach watching.
Yesterday I learned that on a specific set of conditions – Gums pumps. Get a really West swell and some decent sand banks and you’ve got a reverse Snapper Rocks. Long winding lefts made their way down towards the beach park. It wasn’t big – say 3 foot with the odd 6 footer. But oh man it was fun. 90% of waves barrel, water was crystal clear blue and plenty of waves. A session to remember. Just wish I took more photos (Sorry had to surf it). A local (Jack Johnson – who rips by the way) told me that on a epic day it breaks all the way down to Gas Chambers (that’s about 400 metres away). Love to see that.
Looks like you have waves back home also…nice. Back soon…
::uge

See full post & more photographs

96712

Yep. Still here. Here in Hawaii that is.
The weather gods have been kind and there has been plenty of cranking waves.
Bet you didn’t know:

Hawaii is the 50th state of America. It was the last to join and is dubbed the fittest state in the USA. That’s because everyone is surfing all day and not working.
It’s GoPro mecca here. Everyone has one. Self poles, selfie helmuts, selfie boards, GoPros in mouths, armpits and in between toes. It is mental. Nick Woodman (owner of GoPro) even just bought a huge block of land at Rockies for the bargain price of 8 mil.
96712 is the North Shore’s postcode
Robin’s Nest (Magnum P.I.s residence) is on the East Coast with many other very large houses. I think it’s still for sale for a cool 15 million.
Everyone drives a V8 pickup truck and there is no recycling on the North Shore. Yes, you read right.
Coffee making is not one of America’s talents.

Seeya, ::uge

See full post & more photographs

Bondi Appreciation

I’m lucky enough to travel to some pretty amazing places these days. I’ve seen a lot – but Bondi is still home. We may not have world class epic waves but there’s a nice balance between beach and working life when living in 2026.
Today’s daily email highlights 12 reasons why I’m into Bondi so much – and why I have been shooting there, daily…for nearly 16 years.
I will be back in the ‘hood shooting soon.
:: uge
P.S. The devil wind is back in Hawaii. It’s howling onshore today

See full post & more photographs

Rock Highlights

This week has been awesome on the North Shore.
The weather and winds have been behaving nicely. Here’s the highlights.
Wanna come here? Sure thing. It’s good. We come every winter. It can get big though…real big…but you can (nearly) always find somewhere to surf. Yes it is crowded, very, and the people here can really surf well. Be patient, you’ll get sumpin’. My tip would be rent a car – and you can drive far away from the crowds if you need to.
Hope all is well back in the ‘hood.
The winner of our artwork giveaway (worth $2950) is Thierry Faure. Congrats. You’ve just scored big time! Our gallery will be in touch.
::uge

See full post & more photographs

Waimea

For a long time I have wanted to swim out to Waimea Bay and shoot photographs. Today I got to tick that bucket list box. OK, it wasn’t 30 foot…it was 15 foot with a few sneaker sets…but it was still a pretty cool thing to do in life.
Waimea Bay is the birth place of big wave surfing. It’s just so happens to be a very pretty place also with crystal blue water and backed by a Jurassic Park-look-a-like valley. Most of the time Waimea Bay is dead flat and a swimmers paradise. But with the rogue swells of the Hawaiian winter she awakes and huge waves break in the Northern corner. The wave comes from the deep and stands tall. You will need a very big board to get down the steep face. (Not much under 10 footers). A lot of people use wetties with buoyancy compartments – just to shoot you up to the surface fast in a hold down situation.
From a shooting perspective its relatively safe when you’re out the back. There is a decent channel and your only risk is a clean up set which will close out the entire bay. Needs to be 20 foot plus for that to happen. The hardest part about it all is the shore break. Good timing is essential. All day long people are getting axed on the shorey. Trying to punch through that much water with big cameras can be a challenge…that’s OK…keeps the shooting crowds down. Once you’re through the shorey it’s a decent swim out to the waves, especially with so much water moving around…you kinda feel like a little ant in a whirlpool. The light at sunset time is epic at Waimea – waves or no waves. If you visit Oahu be sure to check it.
Mahalo :: uge
 

See full post & more photographs

Trades

It’s been big and onshore here in Hawaii. Today is the first day in quite some time that the wind has gone back to it’s traditional trades. Very strange conditions for this time of year.
Oahu still has plenty to do when the surf ain’t cranking…it’s an amazing island.
Don’t forget it’s Valentines tomorrow…come visit the Aquabumps Gallery in Bondi for gift ideas.
::uge

See full post & more photographs

Sand Bar

Aloha.
I read the Hawaiian surf forecast for today.
“Cross shore winds, 2-3 footers that will grow and sundown could be triple head high.”
Oh…only triple head high. Shame the westerly winds are spoiling it cause it’s gonna get huge. Maui/Jaws is gonna pump (good winds for over there).
What cracks me up is everyone knows a big one is coming, even if they do not surf. The supermarket check out, coffee barister, the electrician and my 3 year old son. All on the program.
::uge

See full post & more photographs

Wax On

It’s  been a tough week on the North Shore. No really…
The entire week was plagued with small conditions and onshore winds. Thankfully on the weekend that all changed! 6-8 foot and offshore. I’m out there (it’s still weekend here).
Another island I am a big fan of is little old New Zealand. Hopefully make it there later in the year for my annual visit (and try this biking thing – it looks epic). NZ just released this video which will make you want to visit too!
Watch Video

Later :: uge

See full post & more photographs

hə-WY-(y)ee

We’ve got some annoying onshore winds on the North Shore that are wreaking havoc. These nemesis winds are here for a few days so the surf action has died down and you are looking at the outtakes from the recent good times. I’m sure the East Coast would be hosting something enjoyable to surf (offshore over there)…the beauty of being on an island.
Looks like Sydney is suffering the same fate of a onshore flow also.
Don’t forget…Sunset sessions at Bondi Icebergs bar (upstairs that is…) this weekend 4pm to 10pm, $10 buck Aperol Spritz and a chance to win an Aquabumps artwork…full details
::uge

See full post & more photographs

Alohaland

Aloha.
Sounds like Sydney has been pummeled by a large swell in my absence. Not very common for this time of year. Even sounded like it was nearly bigger than here in Hawaii.
Pipe has been on most days and the Volcom Pipe Pro has been and gone…John John won it convincingly, combining tubes and airs. Watch
The swell has been solid – very rarely under 6 foot. And if it does goes small (4-6 foot), it’s only for a few hours.
Enjoy your week :: uge

See full post & more photographs